The A’s bullpen was absolutely sensational this season. No, seriously.
The team’s relievers led the league with a 2.72 ERA. One of the main reasons behind that low ERA, and the team’s overall success, is because of closer Liam Hendriks -- who boasted a 1.78 ERA of his own.
While Hendriks is up for MLB’s 2020 Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year Award (and rightfully so), A's teammate and starting pitcher Chris Bassitt believes others should be talked for the award, about including A’s reliever Jake Diekman and former Oakland pitcher Jesse Hahn.
Diekman’s numbers were insane this season. He finished with a 0.42 ERA with an absurd 13.08 K/9 ratio, including 31 strikeouts in 21 ⅓ innings. And, as Bassitt pointed out, gave up just one run.
Amanda Diekman, Jake’s wife, didn’t appreciate him being left out either.
Meanwhile, Hahn, who was with the A’s from 2015-17, had a 0.52 ERA for the Kansas City Royals this season. He stranded 92.3 percent of runners that reached base-- the league’s average is around 70-72 percent. And, yep -- he gave up only four hits all season.
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The Cleveland Indians’ Brad Hand had a respectable 2.05 ERA and Chicago White Sox reliever Alex Colomé had a stalwart 0.81 mark, but Bassitt (and Amanda Diekman) have a point.
And after the season Bassitt had, where he turned into the A’s most dependable starter, he knows great pitching when he sees it.